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Orange and Milk-Braised Pork Carnitas

Rated as 4.83 out of 5 Stars

"It must have been the subliminal beer and liquor advertising that got me, because I wasn't even thinking about Cinco de Mayo when I decided to make this milk-braised pork carnitas recipe. The milk braising beforehand seems to give the meat a little extra succulence. The subtle sweetness from the orange is also very nice."
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2 h 40 m servings 325
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Season pork with pepper and salt.
  2. Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Working in batches, cook pork in the hot oil until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Return all cooked pork and accumulated juice to pot.
  3. Season pork with bay leaves, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir in fresh orange juice, orange zest, and milk. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  5. Remove pork from liquid. Skim some fat from the pot to grease a baking dish. Transfer the pieces of pork to the baking dish. Drizzle about 2 more tablespoons of the floating fat over the meat. Season with more salt, if needed.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until pork is browned, about 15 minutes. Stir pork.
  7. Turn on oven's broiler. Cook pork under broiler until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.


  • Chef's Note:
  • You can strain and reduce the cooking liquid if you want, and do "wet" tacos by adding some of the juice to chopped meat.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 325 calories; 24.1 3.7 22.4 84 805 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 59
  1. 72 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This is a winner! Perfect, tender, well seasoned and succulent...which is how carnitas should be. I used lard and I was a little more generous with the amount than Chef John's recipe. I suggest ...

Most helpful critical review

I made it as says. It was disgusting. Family ordered pizza and swore to never speak of this again it was so gross.

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Most positive
Least positive

This is a winner! Perfect, tender, well seasoned and succulent...which is how carnitas should be. I used lard and I was a little more generous with the amount than Chef John's recipe. I suggest ...

I used double the orange because I really wanted to taste it and I do taste it. After extracting the meat chunks I had this amazing gravy left over I’m not sure since it has boiled milk in it ho...

This was fantastic, though I have some questions...Are you supposed to add water to boil the pork? I just covered it after pouring in the milk. Also, O.J. and milk curdle. Is that what's intende...

I really enjoyed the carnitas! But I did take the advice of some one else who reviewed it and made a sauce out of the leftover juices adding a couple of canned chipotle chilis and a tablespoon ...

love it!!! didnt have time so instead of baking used the pressure cooker. also added some garlic, just because we like it. the mix of milk, orange juice and the spices is simply SPECTACULAR. it ...

I haven't made this yet, but assure you that I will soon!! Reading some of the previous comments made me glad that I had taken the time to WATCH Chef John's video. Aside from his delightful man...

Everything Chef John does is incredible, and this is no exception. My only notes... 1. Having a certain size to chop the pork in would be good. In the video he says any size is fine as long as...

Watch the video. The milk and OJ definitely look pretty gross for a while. The end result is AMAZINGLY tender taco or burrito fillings. We added cheese and salsa on top.

Delicious! I would add a little more milk...I didn’t seem to have enough with 3# of Pork. Other than that killer recipe!